Teeming With Tablets: What Are iPad's Biggest Rivals?

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Research in Motion's Playbook

"Crackberry addicts" already comfortable with Research in Motion's BlackBerry may be drawn to the company's upcoming PlayBook tablet.

According to the popular tech blog Boy Genius Report, Research in Motion (RIM) could launch its buzzed-about device in retail locations across the country April 10.

While the price is not yet public, in November, the company said it would sell the device for less than $500.

The Playbook is expected to feature a 7-inch screen and weigh 0.9 pounds. Like other competitive tablets, it will feature a micro USB port, two cameras and 3G, BlueTooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.

For those looking for entertainment, the device will enable gaming, Web surfing, communicating and more. But it offers professional customers one unique feature: the ability to pair with a BlackBerry. According to RIM, corporate clients will be able easily and securely to share contacts, e-mails and other information between devices.

Cost: Less than $500.

Availability: Expected to go on sale in the first quarter of this year.

LG's G-Slate

For those caught up in the 3-D craze, the G-Slate from T-Mobile and LG might be worth checking out.

In February, the companies said the Honeycomb-powered tablet would hit the market this spring and would be able to shoot 3-D video.

In addition to the 3-D camera, the G-Slate also will have a front-facing camera for video chats and a rear-facing camera for picture-taking. G-Slate owners also will get a pair of red-blue 3-D glasses so that they can view the video as they shoot.

The new tablet is expected to feature an 8.9-inch screen and will be able to run on a 4G network.

Cost: Unkown.

Availability: Expected to go on sale this spring.

Hewlett-Packard's TouchPad

If you were once a fan of the Palm Pre or Pixi, Hewlett-Packard's upcoming TouchPad might be an option for you.

The new tablet, which is expected to hit the market this summer, will run on WebOS, the operating system Hewlett-Packard inherited when it bought Palm last year.

The 9.7-inch tablet will be a little more than half an inch thick and weigh about 1.6 pounds. Like other rivals, it will feature a USB port, a camera for video-chatting and 3G, BlueTooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. It will not include a second camera for picture-taking.

Industry watchers expect the device to excel at multi-tasking and work well with HP's wireless printers and smart phones.

Cost: Unknown.

Availability: Expected to go on sale this summer.

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